Well Dell DID get back to me on the phone with a strange message within 24 hours. Something like, "Hi this is Dell, we're unable to get in touch with you . . . "click". and that was that. No email response (as yet) or nothing. But (cheers and smiles everyone!) I figured out on my own to resolve the issues. I'll tell you, if its one thing bad service does, it teaches you how to be resourceful and figure things out for yourself.
As for geek squad, and best buy/futureshop: my last computer was from them (an HP) and though it really wasn't a gaming computer, the people there were amazing in terms of honouring the warranty and not doing the "hidden charges" thing. I brought my pc in for various things (viruses, video cards etc.) and each time they were prompt, courteous and helpful. Today as a matter of fact the geek squad "resurrected" a five year old pc and installed various drivers and updated the entire system for a very small cost. They too were courteous, reasonably prompt and very helpful.
I bought a dell for the gaming capability. It actually runs extremely well...my personal issues are not with the performance as such, as these error message simply come up and go away when I click them. It is not in the least bit comforting to know however that the so-called tech support and warranty support is virtually non-existent.
BTW, not to sound racist, but almost all my "good" calls with Dell support (and there have been many) have been with so-called english people (names like Dave and Shane)...its probably not a racial thing, but these guys were at least gamers, and understood the issues I was talking about. Occasionally there were other people, but theres an enormous disconnect when you are talking to people about programs they know nothing about.
Moreover, I had a problem with my norton, and they connected me to norton who CHARGED me for the phone call service. Can you believe it? I told this to Dell who simply shrugged their shoulders and said sorry, no offer to pay for the charge or anything.